Welcome To The Prude Internet: No More Sex Talk Allowed

from the bringing-back-the-cda dept

While we talk about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, we almost never talk about any other section of the law. And there's a good reason for that, a few years after it was put into law, every other part of the CDA was ruled unconstitutional. The original part of the CDA that is no longer law included criminalizing the knowing transmission of "obscene or indecent" messages to anyone under 18 or anything "that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs." The Supreme Court, rightly, judged that this was a clear 1st Amendment violation.

However, with last year's passing of FOSTA beginning to eat away at CDA 230, we're actually moving back to a world described in the original CDA -- where plenty of "sexual" content is being barred, in part out of a fear of getting sued under FOSTA. Take for example, the writer Violet Blue, who we've linked to many times in the past. Last week, she revealed that Amazon has now cut off her Associates' account, which she had been using to support herself for years.

Blue writes about sex. That's her beat and she does a great job writing about it, and all sorts of issues related to it (including, FWIW, writing about the impact of FOSTA on sex workers). And, because of that, basically every major internet company is now banning her:

It's not clear how much of this is directly related to FOSTA, though certainly some of it likely is. When there's risk of massive liability, the easiest move is just to ban anything that might trigger liability. And thus, we get censorship.

But it also means that the internet that we all get is a very prude one, where any discussion of sexual content is now suddenly not allowed. It is, in other words, returning us to the world of the original Communications Decency Act -- the very one the Supreme Court properly tossed out as unconstitutional, recognizing just how much important content would be barred from the internet.

And while some may argue "good riddance," that is both silly and closed-minded. Even leaving aside the question of "indecent" content, what Blue writes about is educational, not indecent or prurient. But, because it merely touches on sex, it gets banned. And that means that many people who might otherwise learn about important information cannot because it's considered too risky for the internet. The internet loses much of its usefulness when it's judged on the standards of the most prude and most uptight. And, tragically, that's where we're increasingly heading.

Filed Under: fosta, section 230


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  1. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 8:28am

    It's the demon you can see, or so they say

    Careful Mike, you used the sex word and that might cause some companies heads to explode.

    Isn't it fascinating that even without any kind of provable majority there is a movement toward reverting to Puritanism every so often? There doesn't seem to be any indication that a lack of Puritanism is actually harmful, except to those who think Puritanism is the bees knees. When they work in a subterranean fashion to foist their Puritanical views on others, simply because they want to 'protect' those that don't see things the way they do from coming across things they don't like. Protection that isn't necessarily wanted, or needed.

    It is certainly possible that keeping information about sex from those who are becoming sexual is more harmful than giving them all the information they need. Biology came first. It created the need for procreation. Denying biology and withholding information is not going to stop the biological imperative from happening. Having society create unnatural rules for nature to follow is just folly. Society cannot control nature, try as they might.

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  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 9:57am

    "criminalizing the knowing transmission of "obscene or indecent" messages to anyone under 18 or anything "that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities"

    Oh shit!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 9:58am

    Re: It's the demon you can see, or so they say

    "Careful Mike, you used the sex word and that might cause some companies heads to explode."

    Um....

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  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:00am

    The problem I have is with them keeping any earned money when they terminate the account. That money should be paid.

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  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:02am

    Ha Ha, and ya'll thought it would just be the Daily Stormer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:05am

    Ah, yes, America: a country where you can show someone’s head being sliced in half with a giant axe without people thinking twice about it, but you can barely show a glimpse of a woman’s bare breast in any context without “think of the children”-type calls for censorship.

    Christ, this country is repressed.

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  7. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:06am

    Literally nobody thought FOSTA/SESTA would affect the Daily Stormer, Breitbart, or any other website in that vein. How you came to that conclusion is a leap of logic that can only be described with an allusion to the Grand Canyon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    John85851 (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:06am

    Is this censorship

    If the government says you can't say something, we call it censorship. But what do we call it when companies won't associate with someone who says something they don't like?
    Does the company have the first amendment right not to support someone? Then what about the author's first amendment rights?

    But in this case, no one is stopping her from writing her articles- she just can't make money off them as before. This segues into a discussion about how she should reading articles (on this very site!) about how to make money from free items. :)

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  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    Seriously, what a bunch of anuses with phallic disorders these outfits are. Might even call them dicks. The prudes pushing this agenda must be a bunch of pussies, too. This is likely nothing more than projection thanks to their own pornography addictions and latent perverse fetishes. I hope they all get screwed by well-endowed wildlife.

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  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:08am

    Is this the part where you tell us this was actually an April Fools joke a day late?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:18am

    Does the company have the first amendment right not to support someone?

    Yes. The First Amendment protects the freedom of association.

    Then what about the author's first amendment rights?

    Authors have the right to speak their mind; they do not, however, have the right to use someone else’s platform, force themselves upon an audience, and force that audience to support them in any way.

    in this case, no one is stopping her from writing her articles- she just can't make money off them as before

    Which is a damn shame because she is a good writer for a subject that rarely gets its due in mainstream press. (When was the last time MSNBC devoted an hour to FOSTA/SESTA and its effects on sex workers?) It isn’t her only wheelhouse, sure, but the fact that all these companies are so afraid of having even the slightest association with sexual content of any kind to the point where they will blacklist her is at least worthy of ridicule and derision.

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    identicon
    Some Are Of 42'' (my 1974 porn epic), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:25am

    Section 230 Un-Constitutional TOO, just hasn't been the focus.

    1) Section 230 is the Enabling Act for Censorship By Corporations. If let stand as Masnick wishes, then it means complete de facto control of all speech by corporations. By Masnick's, notions, you couldn't even buy a printer to print your own paper flyers IF a corporation knew your intent and didn't want to help you Publish.

    2) Any statute which explicitly refers to over-riding Constitutional Rights is null and void. Legislators CANNOT empower even "private" entities for de facto violations.

    3) Corporations seized on the part of otherwise Un-Constitutional statute which directly benefitted them with immunity and soon saw the possibility of profits by controlling ALL speech on teh internets by way of it.

    4) Your long-term defense of it, especically recent referring to intent of its author, is now revealed by you to be cynically defending Un-Constitutional statute, just as I've stated.

    5) After years of relying on Section 230 for immunity, another mania, of always defending indecency, seized you even more and out of the BLUE indeed pops this admission. You have no sense and rely on fanboys having no memory, so now blithely put out this HUGE CONTRADICTION.

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    identicon
    Some Are Of 42'' (my 1974 porn epic), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:32am

    What happened to your assertion that corps have this power?

    "And, I think it's fairly important to state that these platforms have their own First Amendment rights, which allow them to deny service to anyone."

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170825/01300738081/nazis-internet-policing-content -free-speech.shtml

    You cannot NOW complain merely because corporations are censoring speech that you believe is okay.

    EITHER corporations are be NEUTRAL HOSTS (for speech as defined within Common Law), OR this control over speech is perfectly okay.

    You and Masnick cannot have it both ways at once.

    And certainly not with Masnick's long-term defending corporations when "deplatforming" First Amendment political speech. This speech is NOT important in absolute terms, let alone compared to the corporate censoring of the very political speech that might limit their censoring!

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    Some Are Of 42'' (my 1974 porn epic), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:34am

    Re: Commenter Section 230 would be on Daily Stormer...

    Yet more of your characteristic mis-take and mis-parphrase to twist plain words into a falsehood that you can attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:37am

    You cannot NOW complain merely because corporations are censoring speech that you believe is okay.

    We can believe that companies have the right to deny a platform for speech they do not want associated with those platforms and believe that the choice of speech they want booted from said platforms is short-sighted, prudish, and outright ridiculous. To believe only one of the two is to believe either platforms must be forced to host all legally-protected speech no matter what or platforms are above criticism for any decision. I would think even you can see the dangers inherent in either belief.

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  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    This is to discourage breastfeeding and sell baby formula.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:43am

    out of the BLUE

    You’re not supposed to just give away your identity like that, man. Remember your opsec training!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:44am

    Re: Is this censorship

    Private censorship is legal, though it's still censorship.

    The first amendment applies "in spirit" to everyone, as something Americans are supposed to cherish, but it is not law to anyone except the government or a "state actor."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:44am

    …says the guy who can’t even get the definition of “common law” correct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Thad (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:48am

    Re: Is this censorship

    I think the pertinent question here is, are these companies choosing not to associate with people saying these things because they're worried about legal liability? Because if that's the case, then there's a pretty good argument that this is a government restriction on speech, not a private one.

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  21. identicon
    A Logical Observer, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Commenter Section 230 would be on Daily Stormer...

    Nice trolling, but it falls flat to the fact that TD was concerned about their CDN dropping them and it's effect on the internet, even if Techdirt's writers disagreed with their opinions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:00am

    Please to let the class know how quickly the Adsense team sent you a letter demanding you remove this or have it demonetinized.

    Congress has shown they have a VERY twitchy finger when it comes to pet issues & sending letters implying all sorts of horrible things will happen if they even think about talking to the pariah of the month.

    Now we could hire 50,000 ESL reviewers in 3rd world nations who wouldn't know a meme from a death threat to check nothing violates the ever evolving list of 'YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON THE INTERNET!'... Or you look for a few keywords & just ban all them undesirable peoples. (And hey steal money from them because they are bad people so we no longer owe you).

    See also: Every stupid move done to appease the walled garden of fruit phones to try and stop a female presenting nipple from showing up on their most advanced display ever! EX: Tumblr... market share crashed, value crashed, but hey they were able to keep their app in the app store even as they flag their own examples of whats allowed as violations of the policies.

    Or we could hold individuals responsible for what they did, I know its not trendy these days, but we live in this delusion that nothing we do is our fault... I ate twinkies so I murdered him, leaps to mind, and people bought into it.

    If you can't apply it in the real world, it will work even worse trying to do it online.
    We don't (yet) allow people to sue car makers b/c someone got drunk and had a wreck. (But hey we let them sue the bar b/c they should know a randoms limit & track them to make sure they don't slip out and drive home).
    A lot of this is the digital version of someone robbed a bank, well the guys who build the road have lots of money... make them pay for the crime.

    They've been fucking things up for decades, what finally will snap them into reality or will we end up reduced to an internet with only licensed images of the 4 colors no one has a trademark on as the content we're allowed?

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  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    Violet BLUE or some other shade?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:10am

    Re: Section 230 Un-Constitutional TOO, just hasn't been the focu

    Again, without section 230, you wouldn't be commenting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:12am

    Re: Section 230 Un-Constitutional TOO, just hasn't been the focu

    Section 230 is the Enabling Act for Censorship By Corporations

    Funny you should say that, because without it, corporations will censor even more in order to avoid potential liability.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:36am

    Burka - Coming to a Beach near you.

    Won't be long till the naked (or mostly naked) beach bikini babes are gone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Is this censorship

    Are there viable lawsuits in progress on this? EFF is working on it but that was dismissed for lack of standing (and they're appealing it). Blue might actually have standing, especially if any of those companies said it related to FOSTA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    Thad (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Is this censorship

    I'm not aware of any, but lawsuits take time and money and it really hasn't been that long since FOSTA passed.

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  29. identicon
    Bruce C., 2 Apr 2019 @ 12:12pm

    Repressed...

    The confluence of old-school puritanism, sex-negative third wave feminism and the internet is truly a fearful place.

    My hope is that eventually the number of people ostracized due to moral panic on the internet will reach a critical mass where it becomes commercially feasible to compete against Google/Paypal/etc. in serving that set of users while still remaining legal in the eyes of FOSTA/Article 13/17 and so on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Is this censorship

    I think you misunderstand the purpose and scope of the First Amendment.

    It was never intended to apply to private or public interactions, it was only ever meant to apply to government interference in citizen speech. And it applying "in spirit" includes owners/operators of social media platforms who have the freedom and right to decide what content they will or will not allow on their platform. That kind of decision making is also protected by the First Amendment.

    Having the government come in and tell a platform what they can or can't host is unconstitutional and a violation of their First Amendment rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 12:29pm

    How long until ISPs, domain registrars and CDNs start cutting off porn? And how long after that before their extremely wealthy lobby gets the problem corrected?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Section 230 makes blues balls blue

    How was your three day “vacation” with the nice men in white coats?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Sok Puppette, 2 Apr 2019 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Is this censorship

    ... and I think you're being deliberately obtuse and hiding in legalisms.

    The obvious point of grandparent's saying that the FA applies "in spirit" is that the FA is an expression of a supposedly widely held American value that says people should be able to express themselves freely. If you ACTUALLY believe in that value, then you're going to be really, really reluctant to shut anybody down on a "platform" you control, regardless of what's written on a piece of parchment.

    Maybe you'll do it if you think that their speech will be mistaken for your own opinion. Maybe you'll do it if you find the speech utterly abhorrent. But you won't do it lightly, and you won't do it just because it gets a few people's undies in a bunch.

    ... that is, if you believe in values that are at least supposed to be universal American values.

    On the other hand, if all you give a shit about is making a buck, then you'll do it at the drop of a hat. Which is your right, but other people equally have the right to call you a piece of shit for doing it.

    Hell, for that matter, you could argue that a "platform" does NOT have a free-speech right to control what's said UNLESS it might be taken as the platform's own speech. Which would never happen if it were well known that all platforms were required to carry everything. Compelled speech is definitely not OK, but being compelled to provide a neutral communication service is different.

    So in fact it seems likely constitutional to compel "platforms" to carry everything, regardless of how much they disagree with it, so long as it's not represented as their own opinion. That'd just be a regulation on the business of "platforming", with no actual effect on any defensible idea of "speech".

    If we're going to get all legalistic about it, I mean.

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  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 1:59pm

    Can't Use...

    "Wordpress dot org"

    Let's pretend for even a moment Automatic cared about who they associate with, WordPress.org is the download of an installable CMS. It's a tool and not a location. That's like saying I can't own a hammer because I might build a wooden hate symbol.

    FOSTA/SESTA are horrendously broad but let's make sure we note the correct limitations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is this censorship

    So you would require Christian platforms to carry heathen pieces, and right wing platforms to carry left wing propaganda etc., that's not likely to work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    Thad (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Can't Use...

    I mean, dude, I know from pedantry and condescension, but...do you really think that much snark is proportional to someone making the mistake of saying ".org" when she meant ".com"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 2:53pm

    it seems likely constitutional to compel "platforms" to carry everything

    Just so we are clear, this type of thinking would lead to platforms hosting speech that the owners/operators do not want associated with said platforms, with no wiggle room for moderation. This would mean…

    • A platform intended for Muslims would be forced to host anti-Muslim propaganda

    • A platform intended for Christians would be forced to host pro-Muslim propaganda

    • A platform intended for Black Americans would be forced to host pro-Blue Lives Matter propaganda

    • A platform intended for White supremacists would be forced to host pro-Black Lives Matter propaganda

    • A platform intended for LGBT people would be forced to host anti-LGBT propaganda

    …and so on and so forth. And as long as none of the content violates existing laws (common or otherwise) against “illegal” speech, none of those outcomes could be prevented.

    You might think forcing platforms with content policies you despise to host speech that would go against those policies sounds like a wonderful idea. But here’s the question that brings all this absolutist thinking to a head, and no one who thinks like you ever seems to be able to directly answer it: What would you do if you were the owner of a platform that someone started using to spread racist propaganda, and you didn’t want your platform to be a source of racist propaganda¹?

    ¹ — Feel free to replace “racist” with “homophobic”, “anti-Semitic”, or any similar derogatory adjective. The question remains the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Rekrul, 2 Apr 2019 @ 2:59pm

    I also see this as a big problem, however it would seem that Amazon and the other companies can do as they like going forward.

    What I can't understand the legality of is how they can just keep the money that they owe her. They accepted her as a client(?), sold her works and now they're saying that they shouldn't have, so they're just retroactively withholding her payment?

    I swear the number one rule for anyone doing business through a third party, or a third party payment processor should be to withdraw any money in your account ASAP, and never leave more in it than you're willing to lose. Companies have shown over and over again that they will pull this crap at the drop of a hat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. icon
    Thad (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 3:20pm

    Re:

    What I can't understand the legality of is how they can just keep the money that they owe her. They accepted her as a client(?), sold her works and now they're saying that they shouldn't have, so they're just retroactively withholding her payment?

    It's almost certainly in the fine print of their TOS.

    Whether it would hold up in court is another question, but of course to find out she'd have to file a lawsuit that would almost certainly cost a lot more than whatever they owe her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is this censorship

    “Compelled speech is definitely not OK, but being compelled to provide a neutral communication service is different.”

    No it very much isn’t.

    Now please cite any legal source to back up your shit ass opinion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Can't Use...

    Nah, it wasn't, but; There are plenty of reasons lawmakers don't care what end-users think about these laws and I just don;t ever want to see "do not understand them" at any point.

    Know your enemy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:06pm

    I'm tired of the discourse of censorship having redefined it to mean Government-only.

    The notion that commercial companies can't censor people is ludicrous at face value. Mike's article here depicts a perfect example.

    I fully expect joyless scolds whose life revolves around winning Internet arguments to angrily respond to me to tell me how I and the ACLU are wrong on a topic that has generations of hard fought victories and losses behind it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    wutsinterweb, 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:06pm

    Lots O' outrage for sure. But denying access, shadow banning, or blocking conservative voices on the internet ... not so much outrage.

    So a private company can choose to ban certain subjects bing discussed on their digital property, or refuse to do business with those who discuss said subjects?

    Oh the irony. Two way street.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    xebikr (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:10pm

    Re:

    Look. I believe frank, open, honest discussion about sex and the issues surrounding it is a good thing. I believe that forcing it underground and preventing such talk is bad. But you cannot conflate images of sex and images of violence. I really don't understand how that even happens, other than both are considered 'adult'.

    I can say from my experience, which I will be bold enough to say is far from unique, that images and discussion about sex have a much different effect on me than those of violence. I have never watched violence filled movie and then left with the need or desire to act out the violence. A great deal of research has been done to disprove those people who want to blame video games and movies for violent behaviors. Depictions of sex and nudity, however, are different story. Isn't that the entire point of porn? It is intended to arouse, and then that arousal is acted upon. I haven't tried to find the research, but I dare say that there is a bit of a link between porn and self pleasure or other sexual acts.

    I'm not trying to make a morality argument here, but I am tired of the "Americans are fine with violence and not sex, those hipocrits!" argument. I don't think it's difficult to understand why we may treat them differently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Pixelation, 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:12pm

    Fuck!

    Ooops.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:12pm

    Re:

    The problem with conservatives claiming this censorship is that they never look outside of their bubble to see if the censorship is happening to more than just themselves.

    It's a victimhood complex that never adequately defines who the victims are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:16pm

    Quick question: If conservatives are being shadowbanned/outright banned on social interaction networks, for what views/language are they receiving that treatment?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    Thad (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re:

    ...well, okay, there's a lot to unpack there, but let's start with what Stephen actually said that you are (ostensibly) responding to:

    you can barely show a glimpse of a woman’s bare breast in any context without “think of the children”-type calls for censorship.

    In any context. That includes nonsexual contexts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 5:42pm

    Re:

    Are you interested in an actual answer or an activist answer? Because the topic frequently garners vacuous guilt-by-tangential-association claims by talking heads on Twitter (Person X claims censorship. Also, on an unrelated topic, the American Nazi Party claims censorship. Therefore everyone claiming censorship must be doing so for speaking NAZI stuff!!!!!11!).

    I rarely see honest dialogue about the topic. Just an asinine political game where Progressive talking heads try to twist all complainants as evil Nazis and Republican institutions twisting all complainants as poor defenseless Patriots under attack by Progressive Tech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:18pm

    This is going to go swimmingly until the porn producers and their copyright trolls realize that nobody is buying their shit - because it'll be taken off the web.

    Considering that porn outfits are the main drivers of the copyright scam machine the fallout is going to be pretty significant.

    Can't wait to see Puritans and porn scammers nuke each other from orbit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re:

    “Also, on an unrelated topic, the American Nazi Party claims censorship. Therefore everyone claiming censorship must be doing so for speaking NAZI ”

    Also on an unrelated note ima go ahead and Godwin this thread but good bro!

    Congrats?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    ....the American Nazi party is an actual organization that has been cited by talking heads as a conservative organization complaining of being censored on social media.

    Godwin applies to many things in the modern era, but this ain't it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:40pm

    Re:

    "I'm tired of the discourse of censorship having redefined it to mean Government-only."

    Censorship is censorship, but it is only illegal when the government does it. You can rest now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. icon
    xebikr (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Context is important, and thank you for adding necessary nuance. However my point was that the comparison he made is invalid. In my mind, it feels the same as "Americans will eat 2000 calories at a sitting, but you can barely show a glimpse..."

    Non-sexual contexts. That's a tricky one. In the 80's I spent a lot of time paging through National Geographic magazines looking for nudity that, as an adult, I would now consider completely non-sexual. Once again, I'm not making the argument that NG mags = bad, just that nonsexual context != non-titillating for some people.

    Also, I didn't say this explicitly in my original post (because I really was just addressing the comparison), but rightly or wrongly, it would not be difficult to find people who would cry "think of the children!" over the sight of "someone’s head being sliced in half with a giant axe". Overall, he was making a straw man argument conjoined with a false dichotomy, utilizing a bad stereotype, and he got a light bulb for it. I found that mildly irritating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    xebikr (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Is this censorship

    And if that is the case, it's an insidious form of censorship, too, because the government didn't tell the companies "don't advertise on her site", it's the chilling effect of the possibility. I have no legal expertise, but my impression would be that it would be difficult to establish standing in order to challenge the law(s) in question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re:

    And yet rarely are claims that "only the Government can censor" about legality. Whereas maybe some particularly cringey right-wing loons make the claim of legality, it's almost ubiquitous a claim on social media these days that "censorship" is a thing only governments can do. It's an attempt to redefine what censorship means.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 7:20pm

    Re:

    Techdirt is a serial defamer, much like the SPLC is a serial defamer. The day of reckoning for the SPLC is now upon us. Techdirt is next. Your point about porn outfits and copyright scams is just bullshit. Do you work for the SPLC?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Is this satire?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you walk around backwards all the time or just recently?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Because it is all about them

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nah that rabid hatred of anything that makes 'them' look bad regardless of fact as 'defamation' akin to Trump's reaction of being mad at the media for reporting an ongoing investigation implies sincerity.

    A satire would be something like this:
    I believe all politicians with children should step down because they clearly not only had sex but unprotected sex! Anyone willing to risk disease for pleasure is clearly not of suitable judgement to be around children in addition to posing a very poor example!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re:IMPOTENT threats are the best threats.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 9:26pm

    Re:

    TITTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 9:42pm

    They're not going to get rid of sexual content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Apr 2019 @ 9:48pm

    They're not going to get rid of sexual content...

    ...they're going to drive it underground.

    And the folks who like to watch kids fuck, or animals fucking people or whatever else is too kinky for public consideration (don't look up balloon play) are going to help those who like regular sex get their content from the darknet.

    And that means the Moral Guardians and their Law Enforcement buddies will be so overwhelmed fishing through ordinary sex stuff that the super kinksters (and pedophiles and hate groups and terrorists) will get lost in the crowd.

    In the meantime, maybe we could start again appending sex scenes from classical literature at the end of our emails and posts, in defiance of the censors, right after our NSA haikus.

    [moist]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Your point about porn outfits and copyright scams is just bullshit.

    I see your righteous outrage and raise you one 12.5 year jail term for Paul Hansmeier. Glorious representative of porn and copyright, wouldn't you agree?

    Shouldn't you be writing a law to save him? Maybe set aside some political bribes? How about going down on bended knee?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2019 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Old Jhon boy knows how to “bend his knees.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. icon
    cattress (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 12:05am

    What I don't understand about this is why now, if not under direct pressure from the government? Every one of these companies knew that candid sex talk and erotica were major topics in her repertoire. She's had contracts with some of them for a decade or more. They didn't issue her any warnings that she was in violation of their terms, which she had to have been since day 1.
    Were these companies threatened by government lawyers, or did they run some automated content filter that triggered the contract cancellation? Either way, I can't imagine the intention was to deplatform or demonetize an author and activist. Even though SESTA is terrible, there is still such thing as prosecutorial discretion, and going after a business for their association with an activist for women and marginalized people (which is constitutionally protected right of association) is going to be a bad look, even for this administration. And the longer these companies take to restore the association, the greater hit to their reputation is going to take because it looks just as shitty as being compelled by the government. If the government really wants to pursue a suit in this situation, these companies have the money to fight and win, plus ACLU support. Might be the best way to strike down a bad law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 12:56am

    The seven words you can't write on the internet

    The seven words you can't write on the internet:
    shit, piss, cunt, fuck, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. icon
    tom a sparks (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 1:04am

    The internet is for porn!

    The internet is for [censored] or car videos

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=[censored by the EU]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 2:58am

    Deadly violence good. Sex bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 4:09am

    Are you interested in an actual answer

    Yes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 4:22am

    A fair point on the false dichotomy thing, though I would hope you recognize that as at least a little hyperbolic.

    My overall point is that in America, sex is a taboo but violence is a fact of life. Violence is so ingrained into American culture that even cartoonish violence is an afterthought, but even a hint of completely non-sexual nudity in a mainstream cultural work is enough to get people worked up. The societal discussions around sex are always kept hush-hush out of fear that children (or uptight religious folks~) might hear something they shouldn’t, whereas similar discussions around violence are always out in the open.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 4:24am

    moist

    Why’d you have to go and use that cursed word?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 4:25am

    The day of reckoning for the SPLC is now upon us. Techdirt is next.

    Do something or piss off, you impotent wimp.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 5:33am

    "Violence is a fact of life" "Sex is taboo"

    In the EU, sex is a recognized fact of life. And violence, not.

    And really, our failure to recognize sex as a fact of life is one of the great fuels of the alt-right (the incels and MGTOW circles, which have a lot of intersection with the others).

    That is partly why we have the no-fucks-given culture we have today in the US.

    Do we really want to keep it like that? Certainly, those leading the right sure do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is this censorship

    ... and I think you're being deliberately obtuse and hiding in legalisms.

    Then you've never read the First Amendment and failed history class.

    The obvious point of grandparent's saying that the FA applies "in spirit" is that the FA is an expression of a supposedly widely held American value that says people should be able to express themselves freely.

    No, the 1A states VERY CLEARLY that is only supposed to apply to governments and that the people should be free from GOVERNMENT interference in what they say or do. Nowhere was it intended to protect the speech of people in every situation. If it was, then it would be illegal for me to kick someone out of my house for insulting my family, because I would be infringing on their 1A rights. And that's just not what it was intended to allow.

    If you ACTUALLY believe in that value

    Well, guess what, I DON'T. I believe the people have a right to free expression without interference from the government, but NOT from other private entities/individuals. That is a wonderful strawman you've managed to construct there. So sorry to have to set it on fire.

    if you believe in values that are at least supposed to be universal American values

    These supposed values you speak of are only in your head. It never has been about free expression no matter what. Alt-right conservatives, such as yourself, are trying to re-write history to make it that but it never was that.

    if all you give a shit about is making a buck, then you'll do it at the drop of a hat.

    Or if you live in reality, read the Constitution, and didn't fail history class.

    Hell, for that matter, you could argue that a "platform" does NOT have a free-speech right to control what's said UNLESS it might be taken as the platform's own speech.

    This is incorrect and blatantly false. Multiple court cases, including SCOTUS, have upheld the right of businesses, companies, corporations to allow or disallow whatever legal content they wish on their platforms. To say otherwise is to restrict the owner's 1A rights of making the product of his choosing.

    Which would never happen if it were well known that all platforms were required to carry everything.

    The reason it isn't well known is because it isn't true, no matter how many times you scream about it.

    Compelled speech is definitely not OK, but being compelled to provide a neutral communication service is different.

    That is still compelled speech. Evidenced by the fact that it is "compelled" in your own words, which is illegal under the 1A.

    So in fact it seems likely constitutional to compel "platforms" to carry everything, regardless of how much they disagree with it, so long as it's not represented as their own opinion.

    Again, any compelling of any kind is against the 1A. You are literally wrong.

    That'd just be a regulation on the business of "platforming", with no actual effect on any defensible idea of "speech".

    This is such a contortion of the law and logic I don't even know how someone can honestly say that with a straight face. What you are saying is it is illegal to make a platform that caters to any one specific group because that platform has to allow ALL speech. So if I wanted to have a gamers only forum, I couldn't ban jocks who create accounts and spam the forums with a bunch of sports stuff. The same goes for civil rights sites or victim resource sites. Those sites couldn't ban anyone who comes on to those safe havens and starts spouting anti-civil rights or victim-blaming talk. Those safe havens would be destroyed.

    If we're going to get all legalistic about it, I mean.

    You didn't get legalistic. You got delusional.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    shadow banning

    This never happened.

    denying access......or blocking conservative voices on the internet

    Because they violated the EULA and/or TOS of the platforms they were using. This also happens to non-conservatives and isn't some massive anti-conservative conspiracy. Don't be a jerk and you won't get blocked.

    So a private company can choose to ban certain subjects bing discussed on their digital property, or refuse to do business with those who discuss said subjects?

    That is their right under the First Amendment. That doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

    Oh the irony. Two way street.

    I fail to see the irony here. I see the law working as intended but with potential for undue influence and threat from the government. Which is exactly what the First Amendment is all about, protecting companies and individuals from government coerced speech and/or censorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re:

    I rarely see honest dialogue about the topic.

    Then you aren't listening.

    Most, if not all, of the people who were legitimately blocked from said platforms, were engaging in hateful speech that derided or denigrated entire groups of human beings. That sort of thing is clearly laid out as NOT ALLOWED on social media platforms and the consequences for engaging in it are also clearly laid out, you'll get your account blocked.

    In some few cases they were falsely blocked but most of those were unblocked after an appeal as it was a mistake and not censorship because they didn't agree with what they were saying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You brought them up in a conversation that had nothing to do with Nazis. Therefore, Godwin applies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. identicon
    wutsinterweb, 3 Apr 2019 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    Then people should stop complaining if people engaging in"sex talk" are banned from private platforms and web sites and also.Can't have it both ways.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 8:01am

    Re: They're not going to get rid of sexual content...

    Sadly, you're right. It's pretty telling that the latest spate of european laws ostensibly implemented to combat CP had two very obvious effects:

    1) It drove legal sexuality underground.
    2) It rendered knowing or having seen evidence of real wrongdoing so toxic witnesses were encouraged to shut the f*ck up or themselves end up having their lives overturned.

    There's a gruesome story in Sweden about a woman filming her significant other's bath time with their child on the sly because she suspected the man was abusing said child.
    The result was horrifying. The woman was indicted for manufacturing CP and sole custody of the child was granted to the suspicious man.

    When evidence of crime can not be possessed or procured, it gets real tricky to enforce law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re:

    "I haven't tried to find the research, but I dare say that there is a bit of a link between porn and self pleasure or other sexual acts. "

    There is. Most studies have concluded that the easier access there is to porn the fewer sex crimes are committed.

    ...which incidentally is something psychologists have predicted for a century or more. Human imagination serves as a safety valve. And this goes for both porn and imaginary violence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84. icon
    Thad (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Is this censorship

    Right -- it's Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

    This example isn't directly related (because it doesn't involve the government), but a few years back an issue of the comic book Saga was rejected from the iOS version of Comixology because it had a panel depicting graphic sex. Comixology's reasoning was that the panel in question ran afoul of Apple's submission guidelines -- but Apple never actually made such a ruling on that specific comic; Comixology just made the assumption (which, given Apple's history, was a perfectly reasonable assumption).

    (Not for nothin', the comic's publisher, Image, went DRM-free soon after that, and also launched its own store. It happened quickly enough that I figure it had already been under discussion for some time by that point, but I've always suspected that the rejection of that particular comic served as an object example to management about how DRM can screw publishers by locking them into a monopsony middleman who does not act in their best interests.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can't have it both ways.

    Yes, you can and I already explained why but here it is again:

    Notice I said it's legal but NOT a good idea AND that it seems to be happening based on concern of the government coming after them for it based on the FOSTA law, which is unconstitutional and illegal.

    So, to summarize:

    1. Discussing why it's not a good idea but still legal is perfectly legitimate and happens all the time in other non-tech related areas. Why this should be any different is beyond me.

    2. It seems at least plausible that companies are doing this now because they are afraid of the government retaliating against them for hosting legal content that they happen to not like. This is exactly why the First Amendment exists in the first place and if that's the case, then it should be fought and the governmental pressure removed from those companies.

    3. Banning one kind of speech that some people don't like inevitably opens the door for other people to complain about speech they don't like and eventually that open platform is now closed because they can't host any speech that someone isn't going to have an issue with. They are essentially shooting themselves in the foot and leads to a slippery slope of only allowing the "right" speech.

    Is that a little clearer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86. icon
    xebikr (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 8:39am

    Re:

    "though I would hope you recognize that as at least a little hyperbolic."

    Of course. And I'm sorry you bore the brunt of my slowly building frustration with the years and years of seeing that comparison being made over and over and over. I'm not even sure what the real point of it is. Are people who make that comparison saying America should censor violence in our media? Are we supposed to be saying "think of the children!" for cartoonish violence but not for sexual imagery? Should we be censoring both, so as to be more consistent? And if we should be permissive of both, doesn't that mean we're progressive on one side, but not the other?

    And using a minimus example of nudity and then saying it's nonsexual ignores the fact that what is sexual and what isn't is a very complicated and personal subject, with deep cultural roots.

    Overall, it just seems like easy way to score internet points by playing on peoples preconceived biases about America and Americans. And I never see it called out, so I decided to this time.

    And on the point of the article, I'm a deeply religious person who believes that a lot of damage is done by our inability to openly discuss sex in our society. So I'm right there with you in condemning that facet of our culture. I see a lot of progress being made in that area, though. I hope that continues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87. icon
    Thad (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re:

    Of course. And I'm sorry you bore the brunt of my slowly building frustration with the years and years of seeing that comparison being made over and over and over. I'm not even sure what the real point of it is. Are people who make that comparison saying America should censor violence in our media? Are we supposed to be saying "think of the children!" for cartoonish violence but not for sexual imagery? Should we be censoring both, so as to be more consistent? And if we should be permissive of both, doesn't that mean we're progressive on one side, but not the other?

    They're saying that a standard that considers sex more harmful/shameful than violence (1) implies a double-standard that is difficult to support from a legal standpoint and (2) implies an unhealthy pathology in American culture.

    Per (1), I think Breyer's dissent in Brown v EMA is interesting. He argued that it's absurd that the Supreme Court can uphold a ban on selling girlie magazines to people under 18 but not a ban on selling violent video games to people under 18. I disagree with his conclusion (which wasn't exactly "we should be censoring both, so as to be more consistent" so much as "we already said we could censor Y, so that logically implies that it should be equally constitutional to censor X"), but not his reasoning.

    Per (2), I think that any parent who's less concerned with their child seeing graphic violence than a bare breast has a set of priorities that is unhealthy, both for themselves and for their children. (The same goes for people who are more concerned about language than violence, or equally concerned about both things. This Is Spinal Tap is rated R. So is Saw. At least we've got content descriptors now, but it seems pretty damn silly to me that both those movies are classified as similarly unsuitable for people under 17.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 10:53am

    Are people who make that comparison saying America should censor violence in our media?

    What I was saying, or at least trying to imply, is that in America, violence and nudity/sex are held to double standards. Look at the MPAA rating system: “Bloodless”-yet-violent deaths like General Zod’s death in Man of Steel or Loki’s death in Avengers: Infinity War manage to earn PG-13 ratings, but a bare breast or butt — even in a completely non-sexual context — is all but an assurance for an R rating. I am not calling for censorship of any kind; I am calling for America to examine such double standards and ask why American society is more afraid of children seeing a bare tit than of them seeing Superman snap someone’s neck.

    And if we should be permissive of both, doesn't that mean we're progressive on one side, but not the other?

    That…is kind of the point, yes. American media has made great strides in the normalization of violent imagery, up to and including scenes of people being violently killed as part of primetime TV lineups on even the broadcast networks. (Chicago P.D. has shown a bloody headshot or two during its run, for example.) But when it comes to normalizing nudity/sex, not so much with the progress, especially in regards to LGBT people. Which is not to say that I think we need even softcore sex scenes on primetime TV…but hey, it couldn’t hurt.

    And using a minimus example of nudity and then saying it's nonsexual ignores the fact that what is sexual and what isn't is a very complicated and personal subject, with deep cultural roots.

    Which, again, is part of my point — American society is trained to see any form of what we can call “taboo” nudity (e.g., women’s breasts, anyone’s bare ass) as sexual regardless of the context in which that nudity is presented. A piece of media could show a woman breastfeeding her child and a not-zero number of people would think that what little they can see of her bare breast is “going too far” simply because “enough” of her breast is exposed. Meanwhile, Mortal Kombat 11 shows people getting dissected, disemboweled, and decapitated in gruesome (and unrealistic) ways, and nobody really cares so long as the kids aren’t watching the Fatalities.

    it just seems like easy way to score internet points by playing on peoples preconceived biases about America and Americans

    I am an American.

    I'm a deeply religious person who believes that a lot of damage is done by our inability to openly discuss sex in our society. So I'm right there with you in condemning that facet of our culture.

    👍

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    But only as long as nobody says any naughty words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90. icon
    xebikr (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Heh. I can tell you I've never seen the comparison expressed that way, and I have a hard time believing that most of those people who posted "America: violence good, sex bad" think about the concepts that deeply. This is certainly the first time I've seen a supreme court citation enter the conversation.

    Your point about graphic violence is interesting, and I wonder if it's more of a case of you projecting your values, than an illustration of what is actually harmful to children. I think the age of the child has more to do with it than anything. I had nightmares about the charred bodies of Luke's aunt and uncle when I was 4, but I was completely indifferent to bare breasts. By the time I was 11 or 12, I was unfazed by violence in the movie Alien or Friday the 13th (the jump scares are what got me), but any 'nudie' scenes made a big impression.

    Also, what we're almost always talking about is 'simulated' violence. Are there studies indicating that there is harm done to children by exposure to simulated violence? Why is American desensitization to fake violence bad, but European desensitization to real nudity is fine? These are strictly value judgements. I feel that both cultures could stand to take a deeper look at our preconceived notions.

    And yes the rating system is bad. Another instance of the threat of legislation pushing private companies to make bad policy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 1:12pm

    Considering the internet was invented for porn it's a bit silly to be discussing it now. Ahem. In all seriousness, the internet is just a virtual model of our society. We are prudish about sex but it's plastered everywhere on TV stuff, music lyrics, fornication on weird places with weird things. Amazon et al censor and purge sex related content but porn in all its glory simply plagues the thing. Seems we'll never get rid of the Middle Ages religious influence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 1:37pm

    WAS for porn.

    Now, the internet is for cats.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 1:42pm

    Decapitations = OK, Sex = Nope

    GRRM has made this exact complaint on his blog regarding the Song of Ice and Fire, and he said as much in words similar to yours. Here in the states he has to worry more about adolescent women (adult in medieval times) being used sexually then he does about people being flayed alive or served to their kin in meat pies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94. icon
    Thad (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Decapitations = OK, Sex = Nope

    That's not equivalent. Sexual violence is violence.

    I'm not aware of most people objecting to the consensual sex scenes in ASoIaF more than the torture scenes. It's the rape scenes that make people squeamish. (And should.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. icon
    Thad (profile), 3 Apr 2019 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Heh. I can tell you I've never seen the comparison expressed that way, and I have a hard time believing that most of those people who posted "America: violence good, sex bad" think about the concepts that deeply. This is certainly the first time I've seen a supreme court citation enter the conversation.

    I'm not really interested in debating why other people who aren't here who you've had some conversation with on some previous occasion say the things they say.

    Your point about graphic violence is interesting, and I wonder if it's more of a case of you projecting your values, than an illustration of what is actually harmful to children. I think the age of the child has more to do with it than anything. I had nightmares about the charred bodies of Luke's aunt and uncle when I was 4, but I was completely indifferent to bare breasts. By the time I was 11 or 12, I was unfazed by violence in the movie Alien or Friday the 13th (the jump scares are what got me), but any 'nudie' scenes made a big impression.

    You're not making much of a case that it's harmful for children to see a bare breast here.

    Also, what we're almost always talking about is 'simulated' violence. Are there studies indicating that there is harm done to children by exposure to simulated violence? Why is American desensitization to fake violence bad, but European desensitization to real nudity is fine? These are strictly value judgements. I feel that both cultures could stand to take a deeper look at our preconceived notions.

    Which is kind of exactly the fucking point of calling out the double-standard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Burka - Coming to a Beach near you.

    I doubt it. They like to advertise that they aren't advertising what they are advertising. Slut walks comes to mind.

    And don't forget about the "POUND METOO" movement!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I envy you. I truly do. You haven't spent much (any?) time on social media in the past several years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 5:14pm

    Re:

    In spheres I observe on Twitter, I frequently see claims of censorship around whatever media talking heads convince Twitter the modern harassment campaign or conspiracy theory du jour is. Most recent of which is the whole #LearnToCode crap where Twitter went comically overboard in how it handed out suspensions to people who tweeted it out at anyone regardless of context.

    I've also seen auto-filtering covering violent or over-the-top racist statements, but that seems to hit left-wing as well as right-wing agitators.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2019 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh I listen. I listen far more than my health would like me to.

    I stand by my assertion: I rarely see honest dialogue on the topic. Just activists and edgelords who use motivated reasoning and selective visibility.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps you should have headed to the urgent care after you fell off your roof on your head.

    I know you needed to finish getting the tinfoil on your roof to protect you & your birds from the thought waves but I do believe you might have done actual damage to that squishy little ball in your head.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 4:59am

    Re: Is this censorship

    "But in this case, no one is stopping her from writing her articles- she just can't make money off them as before. "

    Actually it's a bit worse than that. Legislation has resulted in a legal paradigm which forces many companies to take a hard-line stance out of fear. This concept where a private entity needs to overcompensate in restriction because it fears draconian law may act arbitrarily is called a "chilling effect".

    Censorship, deliberate or not, by intimidation.

    "This segues into a discussion about how she should reading articles (on this very site!) about how to make money from free items. :)"

    We'd tell her to keep right on writing the exact same way she has so far - which was, for much of it, completely free, apparently.
    Due to legislation scaring most risk-aware companies in shying away from sexual topics, she is not at liberty to pursue the business model of "free". Not any longer.

    So did you just seague your way into a straw man argument by deliberation or by accident, I wonder?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 5:06am

    Re:

    "I'm tired of the discourse of censorship having redefined it to mean Government-only."

    Censorship has always been pretty clearly defined. We just like to use the term "moderation" where it is explicitly allowed (i.e. when private platforms do it on their platforms) and reserve the stricter term for when government does it (such as China having a jail sentence on uttering government criticism).

    "I fully expect joyless scolds whose life revolves around winning Internet arguments to angrily respond to me to tell me how I and the ACLU are wrong on a topic that has generations of hard fought victories and losses behind it."

    I'm afraid that what the ACLU fought so hard for is not the cause whose coattails you are trying to ride.

    You are simply hoping that government should apply laws to how private interests should be forced, by law to carry opinions they can't or won't get behind.
    This is arguably MUCH WORSE than mere censorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 5:14am

    Re:

    "Oh the irony. Two way street."

    Not really. A mature discussion about sexuality and gender roles is arguably not harmful at all to anyone and thus quite acceptable.

    A frothing rant about how the jews and muslims are trying to bring all that's good and holy to its knees, backed by by slandering a few million dead jews for apparently lying about having been murdered, followed by an open call to "set things right" is by most unbiased views quite harmful.

    And the same holds true even if we exchange the religious denominations for any minority against which we can point a slur.

    Bearing in mind that in a free nation any such gathering of misguided crackpots cand and will set up forums of their own where they are quite free to vent.

    So there is no censorship just because "alt-right" propaganda is moderated on youtube. There would be if such moderation was due to actual legislation which is what the companies are doing in the OP we're currently discussing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Shouldn't you be writing a law to save him? Maybe set aside some political bribes? How about going down on bended knee?"

    That's borderline entrapment. You know full well copyright cultists only know one way to act when they're on their knees.

    Are you trying to get poor old Baghdad Bob banned for public indecency?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 5:19am

    Re:

    "Even though SESTA is terrible, there is still such thing as prosecutorial discretion, and going after a business for their association with an activist for women and marginalized people (which is constitutionally protected right of association) is going to be a bad look, even for this administration."

    All it takes is one group of "morally outraged" citizens to scare companies into seeking plausible deniability by applying the chilling effect. Lawsuits with a chance of going through cost money whether won or lost.

    Many of the more harmful of laws act only through their potential as levers usable by anyone with a sufficient grudge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Apr 2019 @ 5:22am

    Re: WAS for porn.

    Not for long, at this rate.

    It may be for pirate cats sailing around in the darker parts of the net, right next to the murky section of CP and cook-at-home druig or explosives recipes, but it's pretty much given that the current clusterfuck of frenzied legislation won't leave very much standing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2019 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And this has what to do with anything?

    Again, you brought up Nazis in a conversation that wasn't about Nazis to begin with. Therefore, Godwin applies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2019 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then not only does my statement stand as written, but you have implied that you are deliberately and willfully ignoring facts and reality.

    There's been lots of honest dialogue about it. Generally when I see dishonest dialogue is usually either when people on either side of the debate don't understand the underlying technology and how the internet works, or aren't interested in an honest debate and are just out to push their narrative. That usually causes them to make non-factual claims about what happened.

    Like for instance your claims, none of which are factual. Shadow banning never happened and the people who got kicked off the platforms were kicked off because they broke the rules. You can find lots of people on EITHER SIDE who got kicked off for breaking those same rules. In many cases, those people who got kicked off were given temporary suspensions and told EXPLICITLY what they were doing that violated the rules and if they stopped doing those things, they would be perfectly welcome to continue to use the platform. The people then gave them a giant middle finger and kept breaking the rules, then whined and complained when the rules were enforced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109. identicon
    Rog S., 4 Apr 2019 @ 11:02am

    First they came....whoever “they” are

    I always adored how that expression “first they came for the....” targeted everybody on the left, except "them,”whoever “they" are, who they finally came for, with gusto.

    All the whinging about Alex Jones being only 87.5% correct, and CIA InQtel~cum Zuckerberg-via-Israel targeting of the nearly non-existent alt-right.

    And who can forget how ADLification created the Islamic terrorist, only to become its/his/their best buddy later, after assloafs of federal cash was dumped into the AIPAC industrial complex (as the Intercept FINALLY grapples with the hard task of describing Jewish racism)?

    https://theintercept.com/2019/04/03/muslims-and-jews-face-a-common-threat-from-white-suprem acists-we-must-fight-it-together/

    Or, the black, male Ferguson protesters, who died in “mysterious suicides”, or the targeting of non-Jewish white males generally that is ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE these days, as Israelification, and goy-phobia and the Vegas marriage of neocon/feminist vampirism sinks its fangs ever deeper into our Constitution.

    It seems that some mystery affliction via the Facebook-NSA-Israel-Fusion Center data theft pipeline kills off any male with a voice or a shred of intellect who is not one of “them,"....whoever “they” are.

    Of course this only makes sense to those of us who dont suffer the delusion of manufactured anti-shemitism.

    Hey, I have an idea: I think I will spray a star of David on my foreskin, and cry “pro-circumcisionists are out to get me!"

    That will get Edward Bernays crawling from his tomb, singing “We are the world," by Michael Jackson, lol.

    What a shithole is America, et al, lol.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110. identicon
    Rog S. aka Ignatius P. Riley, 4 Apr 2019 @ 11:12am

    Re:1980s neocon/lesbian.porn wars redux

    Did you ever wonder why porn is free all over the place-or who is directing/redirecting/collecting data from it?

    Hint: the usual suspects are monitoring your porn, for “the children,” of course, with lots of senators, Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, and other “good people”monitoring your “key strokes” from Fusion Centers that are allied with local NGOs, etc.

    Straight out of the US Military/CIA PsyOps playbook, it is a tool that worked quite well during COINTELPRO 1.0

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111. identicon
    Rog S., 4 Apr 2019 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re:

    Um, not exactly.

    While Youtube appears to have been a genuine, independent startup, Facebook, and Twitter, et al were partially funded by the CIAs InQtel, meaning it is an area of free speech law that has not been properly discussed publicly, nor litigated in court because-true to form- CIA/ et al seeks gay area where it can exploit the laws, aka "plausible/total deniability"

    Then, all of THAT mediated, intermediated, and frequently Man in the Middled by CIA/NSA allied and funded Google.

    You can Google it if you doubt it is true.

    Lets compare search results, huh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112. identicon
    Rog S., 4 Apr 2019 @ 11:24am

    Re: What happened to your assertion that corps have this power?

    Masnik and the ADL/SPLC are tighter than a puppies butt.

    Dont ask me how I know that though, m‘kay?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113. identicon
    Rog S., 4 Apr 2019 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Decapitations = OK, Sex = Nope

    Interesting mirality.

    Men, tortured/decapitated/raped/etc in war zones, prisons, street life, etc = consent.

    Women who were fondled by Uncle Joe Biden= RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPE!

    ...thats all folks. America “land of the free” is moderated by Thads...[big fucking facepalm, as I tie the noose]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2019 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I googled it. You're wrong.

    While Google bought a company called Keyhole Earthviewer that was previously funded by In-Q-Tel, Google itself was not.

    Facebook didn't have any funding provided by In-Q-Tel at all. At best, some of Facebook's initial funders owned other companies that were partially funded by In-Q-Tel but there is nothing to suggest any relationship with them at all.

    I couldn't find anything on Google about Twitter being even remotely funded by the CIA.

    meaning it is an area of free speech law that has not been properly discussed publicly, nor litigated in court because-true to form- CIA/ et al seeks gay area where it can exploit the laws, aka "plausible/total deniability"

    It has been discussed and continues to be discussed as part of the larger discussion of governmental interference in free speech.

    Then, all of THAT mediated, intermediated, and frequently Man in the Middled by CIA/NSA allied and funded Google.

    As stated above, Google wasn't funded by the CIA/NSA. In fact, Google got PISSED when it was revealed that the NSA had directly tapped their private network backbone and IMMEDIATELY locked that down.

    In addition, just because a company was partially funded by an investment company related to a government agency, doesn't mean that it's automatically working for them and feeding every bit of data they come across back to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115. identicon
    Rog S., 6 Apr 2019 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: smoking mirrors again?

    Nice smokescreen, Anonymous Coward.

    Care to provide a link, or are lunks forbidden there at the NSA/CIA/et alphabet troll farm?

    I Googled it too:

    http://www.americanchronicle.info/Home/TabId/514/ArticleId/36/how-the-cia-founded-and-funded-go ogle.aspx

    “Google’s foundations go back to the early 1990s when 2 Stanford University computer science doctoral students began research on Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) whose name is reasonably self-explanatory. The two students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, would help found Google in 1998 with help of Department of Defense, CIA, and shadowy firm knows as Highlands Forum.”

    Refuting ACs like you is always a time-sucker.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116. identicon
    Rog S., 6 Apr 2019 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: SPLC, ADL hate industry

    With the exception of the (nearly non-existent) KKK, only the SPLC and the ADL and the various Jewish supremacist organizations derive massive profits from the industrialization of "hate."

    So, as the CEO of the hate industry, the ADLs Jonathan Greenblattsteinfinklemanfarb has said, "we are in the business of hate."

    I think we need to move on from the ADL spy rings of 1993,

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/02/25/the-adl-spying-case-is-over-but-the-struggle-continues/

    and address the Israelification of American discourse via Martin Bubers racist, zionist identity formulations; and start pointing fingers at the real root issue that has enabled the surveillance state.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117. identicon
    Rog S. aka Ignatius P. Riley, 6 Apr 2019 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: smoking mirrors again?

    Then, theres this:

    https://qz.com/1145669/googles-true-origin-partly-lies-in-cia-and-nsa-research-grants-for-mass -surveillance/

    “Intelligence-gathering may have been their world, but the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) had come to realize that their future was likely to be profoundly shaped outside the government. It was at a time when military and intelligence budgets within the Clinton administration were in jeopardy, and the private sector had vast resources at their disposal. If the intelligence community wanted to conduct mass surveillance for national security purposes, it would require cooperation between the government and the emerging supercomputing companies.

    To do this, they began reaching out to the scientists at American universities who were creating this supercomputing revolution. These scientists were developing ways to do what no single group of human beings sitting at work stations in the NSA and the CIA could ever hope to do: gather huge amounts of data and make intelligent sense of it.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Apr 2019 @ 1:42pm

    The speech dilemma

    The primary function of free speech as a society ethic is to allow for open criticism of institutions. (There is also the function of artistic liberty vs. censorship and intellectual and cultural property. That's another Gordian knot of problems.)

    We don't have a sound assessment protocol or list of indicators for what counts as functional criticism rather than hate speech. This ambiguity is particularly striking, for instance, in the conflation between antisemitic speech, criticism of Israel and arguments in support of Palestinian rights and sovereignty.

    It gets worse. One can express their anger towards a faction (ideology, identity, etc.) in a vulgar, vitriolic, hateful way, but still also have legitimate criticisms. And one can make an academically sound criticism against a group (faction, ideology, etc.) but also season it with hateful edge, and hide fallacious but emotionally inciteful (not insightful) arguments in between valid ones. That way, a given statement can be both without any clear way to tell what's what.

    We don't parse well. We don't logic well. It takes an expert to comb the legitimate arguments from the incitement. It takes another expert to decide how to moderate such a statement.*

    And when one makes a place for Blacks or Christians or Feminists to discuss matters relevant to them, whether a church or community center or online forum or news website that is for a given group, that creates an institution (or appends itself to the institution, as do Catholic sites). That means according to the ethics behind free speech, that site should be open to criticism and discussions critical of the sects or ideologies it supports.

    But again, we can't expect typical moderator staff to be able to comb this stuff out. We can't get appointed judges on the bench to sort this stuff out, and determine what points are valid, and what points are intentionally malicious.

    • Heh, imagine if the funny, insightful and report buttons on TechDirt allowed us to highlight segments of a post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Apr 2019 @ 5:35pm

    That means according to the ethics behind free speech, that site should be open to criticism and discussions critical of the sects or ideologies it supports.

    My argument was not about whether a website intended for specific segments of a given populace should remain free from criticism. (Nothing is above criticism.) My argument was about whether a website should be forced — i.e., compelled by law — to host speech that the site’s owners/operators do not want hosted on that site, all to create some form of “fairness”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120. icon
    xebikr (profile), 7 Apr 2019 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just came back after great-grand-parent got the #1 insightful vote. Reading trough the other replies, everyone seemed to miss my point, which probably means I was presenting it poorly. I've tried very hard not to make a judgement call about bad or good, and though I've also tried to infuse my remarks with an even tone and maybe some humor, the hostility in your post indicates that was also probably unsuccessful. Sorry.

    "You're not making much of a case that it's harmful for children to see a bare breast here."

    /sigh. Good, because I was never trying to make that point. One last try, that probably won't get read, but may make myself feel better.

    Violence. Nudity. Completely different. It's like saying Americans let their kids watch too much YouTube, but they freak out about nudity. Or Americans are fine with lack of healthcare for children, but they freak out about nudity. You can't have a double standard about two dissimilar things. If you feel they are equivalent or close to the same thing, then I can definitely say we disagree there. But nothing you've written seems to even address that, opting instead to argue very strongly the original point.

    Here's a better double standard: Americans don't seem to have a problem sexualizing children and teens in media, but they freak out about children being exposed to nudity in any context.

    Maybe where I went wrong was trying to argue a logical point, but everyone else wanted to argue a moral point. I've always felt the arguing morality will almost always be a lost cause, and laws and policy should not be based on something as nebulous and personal as morality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2019 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Is there a downside to this result that you'd like to bring up? Because I sure as hell can't think of one...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Apr 2019 @ 12:01pm

    Daenerys Targaryen

    An early complaint was about the arranged wedding of Daenerys Targaryen to Khal Drogo. In the book Daenerys was resigned about the pairing but ultimately consented during the honeymoon, but there was much pearl clutching that she was fourteen (if not younger). More scandal was had when the slave Doreah that taught her about loveplay. Doreah was nine when she was sold to a brothel, and twelve when she started serving clients.

    Medieval history is rife with women getting married very early, even though they're totally not old enough to make informed decisions. (They're also not informed enough, a tradition we keep to this day and well into the foreseeable future.)

    In 1996, when the book Game of Thrones was first published, states were cleaning up their marriage laws, but it was still relatively easy and common to for young teens to get married, often to men older than them, and in other cases to the boy that got them pregnant. US society thinks of ourselves as wiser now, but we still have a child brides problem. It seems that some family judges think it's right and proper to just marry little girls to the men having sex with them. Our moral guardians are less concerned with underage sex than they are with unlicensed underage sex. Still.

    Curiously westerners like to criticize Islam for Muhammad's marriage to Aisha when she was a child, failing to acknowledge this was rampantly commonplace in the west under the purview of the Church at the same time period.

    It's only a crime when they do it. But to be fair, we seem to have the same attitude regarding sex and violence: Talibani massacres are an outrage while US drone strikes are ignored.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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